How do I stop Eric Cobb???!!!


I have a problem. Eric Cobb, student of TCMS, PDR Coach, associate of Scott Sonnon is getting too damn smart.

How do I sneak into his head and erase his passion, introspection and 'THREE I's' evolution?

Why? WHy you ask. Well how can I sell him more tapes and seminars if he continues to evolve and intuit everything?




Here is what prompted my above silliness, it is an email to me from Eric Cobb. The next two posts are a reply he offered on George Mattson's forum in the Van Canna Self-defense section:


Hey Tony,

I've just joined up over on Van Canna's forum and have already had some interesting initial conversations. I'm forwarding a post of mine for your review. It's on a thread called Primal Instinct or something like that. I posted on it earlier and Van asked for some more info. I'd love to have you drop over there and give some insight if you get a chance. Hope all is well in newlyweddom and that you guys enjoyed the much deserved vacation.

Tell everyone Hello for me. Talk to you soon.


Hi Van,

I'd love to take a shot at this. Also, I will e-mail Coach and see if he can drop by with some thoughts. Also, please remember that I had no "subway drill" until I read the initial post. This is all an intuitive reaction to the story - now, that is. This whole concept was very counter-intuitive to me at first, but the longer I spend with Tony the more I think this way

What we are after here is a replication process of the exact situation. The easiest way to think about this for me is to look at a SWAT/Hostage Rescue/Counter Terror team and their training practices. The operators are not issued 100 rounds a day and told to go to the range and fire at bullseye targets from a sandbag. Instead, they are progressed through ever-increasingly difficult renditions of situations that they might encounter - sometimes with emphases on different skill subsets, finally progressing to live fire in kill houses with fake bad guys and REAL hostages. (Some of you might have seen pictures of Charles and Diana in the midst of an SAS live-fire exercise?)

The thing to remember of course, is that it's all still fake. The idea that Coach Blauer always promotes is to make our training less fake to properly build life-saving skills.

So, how would I envision a drill based around the scenario? Everyone comes to class in street clothes and stays in them. Take a few chairs and simulate benches and place the attacker and the defender in assigned positions. Then crowd them both with everyone else. The bad guy then does his thing I must insert here, however, how important it is to be a GOOD "bad guy." For instance, in the described scenario, was the attacker psychotic and just happened to pick this guy out of a crowd? If so, simulate psychosis - mutter, pace, look around wildly, etc. Was the attacker on a power trip over everyone in the car? If so, simulate typical "tripping" behavior - talk loudly, swear, get in people's faces, be generally obnoxious, etc. The vital point here is that unless we look at the many, many steps that virtually always precede real-life violence, it is very difficult to build appropriate "mental blueprints." Prior to this, also, you want to give the good guy a directive - talk him down, restrain, stun and run, or terminate the threat. If you want to complicate it even more, give the folks standing around a personality (i.e. all strangers vs. his family vs. his kids vs. a school group he's chaperoning [I throw this in because it actually happened to me!])

Continued next post....

You see how "complicated" this can get in a hurry? Anyway, start running through the scenario, SLOWLY, at first. This allows you to "see" your mistakes, possible alternatives, chances to move SOONER AND SMOOTHER, etc. Once you get going on scenario-based training you begin to quickly see the usefulness of the High Gear System in order to do these things safely!

The concept here is to replicate as nearly as possible what really happens in a real-world confrontation. HOWEVER, THIS IS NOT DONE IN ORDER TO MEMORIZE A PRE-PLANNED SET OF RESPONSES! It is simply to build confidence in your ability to problem-solve on the move, build trust in your intuition, and skill in your physical gross-motor tactics.

There are so many other fine points to doing good simulations that I could write a book here. If you are intrigued with the concept, make sure to check out Tony's video collection - and no I don't get a commission on this! I simply point you his way, because all that he does and teaches is built around the skills developed in literally thousands of simulations he has done, seen and taught. He has numerous videos, etc. that take you through how to safely and scientifically begin applying scenario-based training to your system. Also, he demonstrates so many refined physical tactics that have been developed from exactly these activities that your safety level can increase exponentially.

Finally, all this having been said, I hope that the connection that I talked about between instinct and intellect is more apparent. If you see reference to a scenario that makes you wonder (both intellectually and instinctively) "How would I do" - find out. Intelligently plan a simulation and work through it with people you can trust. As you intellectually build the "mental blueprints" of real-life violence, you can more readily trust your intuitive processes when feelings of dissonance arise. In other words, the more intelligently we train, the more creativity we apply to our development, the greater the amount of scenario experience and blueprinting we garner, the more accurate our intuition becomes AND the more likely we are to pay attention.

Hope this wasn't too obscure. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.



Beautifully executed, Eric!!

Most attempts at education come in two mystifying formats: The pedantic thesis-like argument that only the author may understand and the typical MA article written with the 'Dr. Seuss Thesaurus' :-)

What was fantastic about Eric's reply was the writing, because, like teaching, it is an art and one that Eric is fast mastering.

What I truly love to see is evolution. I have watched Eric grow. His initial writing was from the 'read this, look how much I know' era to now; where years later, he has evolved into a really passionate, articulate educator who spends a lot of energy contemplating his reply and 99.9% that reply is sniper sharp.

Not only does it address the question it weaves key concepts from our research that display an uncanny meta-cognitive grasp of the material.

I, of course would like to take all credit for his progress, but alas, I cannot. Though my sessions, especially the PDR Instructor Development program are geared towards inspiring this sort of evolution, it is ultimately up to the student/coach/audience to absorb, meditate, contemplate, associate, annihilate, and ruminate over the paradigm shifts necessary to shock realization and engender change and evolution..

The result is a shift from 'Subject Matter' Expert to 'Substance Matters' Expert. The difference is telling and in my humble opinion, few in the tactical and martial art field are truly 'Substance Matters' experts.

Eric has demonstrated that the 'system' works and the process works. I have always strived to reduce the research to the most simple of thoughts [often creating a 'complicated simplicity' in the process], so that the info could be transferred to others. Eric took a complicated problem and tactically & tactfully introduced PDR/TCMS concepts like REPLICATION THEORY, The Good Bad-Guy theory, Mental Blueprints, Directive, the value of SCENARIO-BASED TRAINING and the crucial Three I's [Instinct, Intuition, Intelligence] and more.

But the key here was that the reply simplicity and earnestness of the reply and that he knew to stay away from 'Superman' or ego-based replies [Most tactical answers are physically based: XYZ is countered with ZXY]. Eric was able to convey the subtlety of true survival learning research; that being, you can only train and then engage with what you have on judgment day.

Eric, among several others in my PDR team continues to make me proud by demonstrating their rapid growth.

Tony Blauer

Awesome stuff Eric!
It's a pleasure to be on the same team as you..


You don't stop Eric, Coach.You don't even try.You adopt him.Then you can claim all his genius is genetically-inspired....{G}(Not to mention being able to state: "My son, the Doctor!!!!")Having made my jokes: Eric, very, very impressive.Tony: ditto for your appreciation of the conceptual process demonstrated by Eric. RealStudent


What can I say? My space-age brain cloning process is an unheralded success!! I have three of your brains sitting on my desk and usually just wire one of them up them up to the computer when I run across a tough question!

In all seriousness - thank you for the inspiration to learn, train and grow. You've proven to be the most amazing of motivators and teachers, and a living example of excellence and integrity. My only wish is that I could speed my own process up. Mainly, however, I'm simply grateful to be along for the ride and a part of the Team...

Also, as far as the adoption idea goes - would you include me in the will? Before you decide, perhaps I should send the kids up to stay with you and Jesse for a couple of weeks? Please... Uh, here they come now... No wait! Put that down! Let go of your sister!!! The dog is not meant to ride on... Hmmm. I'd better attend to this.

Thank you Coach.



Thanks for the beautiful detailed explaination and inspiration. The seeds planted in the first PDR are taking root and you are growing in 'your own' system in the process.

Keep going, you are helping us all.


Where would Eric and the rest of the PDR team be if you had not provided the opportunity to partcipate in the whole PDR process?

Keep making the tapes. We need the recipies.




"Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for the rest of his life."

-Chinese Proverb

George Truitt